How much vitamin E is enough? An established use of supplemental vitamin E in humans is in the prevention and therapy of deficiency symptoms. The cause of vitamin E deficiency, characterized by peripheral neuropathy and ataxia, is usually malabsorption—a result of fat malabsorption or genetic abnormalities in lipoprotein metabolism. Genetic abnormalities in the hepatic α-tocopherol transfer protein also cause vitamin E deficiency—defects in this protein cause an impairment in plasma vitamin E transport. Impaired delivery of vitamin E to tissues, thereby, results in deficiency symptoms. Also discussed is the use of supplemental vitamin E in chronic diseases such as ischemic heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cataracts, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and impared immune function, as well as in subjects receiving total parenterol nutrition. In healthy individuals, a daily intake of about 15-30 mg of α-tocopherol is recommended to obtain “optimal plasma alpha-tocopherol concentrations” (30 μM or greater).


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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